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vestaviascott 01-02-2013 03:58 PM

How To Dry Out Hardwood Floors (water Damage)
 
I had a drain pipe leak in the wall behind the kitchen sink. The water had apparently seeped between the hardwoods and the subfloor felt under the kitchen cabinets and. I've got several rows of cupped planks just in front of the sink area. There are no hardwoods under the cabinets, just subfloor. The wood looks suprisingly good from below in the crawlspace.

I'm getting moisture readings of greater than 30% on top of the cupped wood, so I'm pretty sure the extent of the moisture damage is between the subfloor and the wood.

To repair thus far, I've had a plumber replace the leaky galvanized drain pipe with PVC all the way to the sewer drain stack pipe. Now I need to dry the floors out. Service Master is estimating appx $1k to dry out floors and area under cabinets.

They will tape heating mats to the top of the floors and they also have some way of going through toe molding to get the area under the cabinets dry.

Is this a candidate for DIY repair?

What's the worse that can happen if I leave it as is? Will it eventually dry out?

joecaption 01-02-2013 04:17 PM

Nope and there now will be mold groing under the flooring.
Insurance companys used to cheap out and not allow for removing the old floor when there was water damage, they learned the hard way it does not work out.
There's also very little chance of that wood just laying back down flat again.

Awoodfloorguy 01-02-2013 04:53 PM

I have seen peoples floor dry out after accidents like this and then them be able to refinish the floors. However, as someone else mentioned you can have issues with mold. I would speak with your insurance company as they will cover this, we deal with similar situations all the time. Some insurance companies will pay to replace all the flooring, while others will pay to have new boards patched in and the floors refinished.

vestaviascott 01-02-2013 05:23 PM

Insurance company does not want to pay. They say if the damage is caused by a sudden event, pipe burst, its covered, but may not be covered if the damage is due to prolonged exposure. Just noticed wood cupping when we discovered the leak but galvanized pipe shows signs of rust, so no way of knowing for sure how long floors have been wet.

Anyway, I'm trying to weigh my options and just need it fixed asap. The floor joists are super clean. Has to be a layer of moisture between subfloor and hardwoods so I just need to extract that moisture. Service magic said there is no signs of microbial activity.

Can a shop vac handle negative vacuum pressure?

My idea is to place a 1" to 1/2" layer of breathable mesh (a couple of 20x30x1 air filters) over the floor (appx 2x7' area) to create a permeable air space. Next, I'll lay plastic poly over the air filters, then tape down all sides to create an airtight seal over the air space. Finally, I'll cut an access hole in the plastic and insert the shop vac hose and tape it there to create a seal.

I'll leave the shop vac on it for a few days to extract the moisture out of the floor (similar to Injecti-Dry system) and take moisture readings daily until I'm down to 12% readings on the floor surface.

Should work, may work or fools errand?

joecaption 01-02-2013 06:50 PM

Fools errand.
Hay you said it first.

vestaviascott 01-03-2013 01:02 PM

Looks like the insurance is going to come through. Restoration company will be coming tomorrow morning with air movers and injectidry's.

And I was looking forward to testing out my new contraption :)

vestaviascott 01-04-2013 09:51 PM

My kitchen is like the engine room of a Navy destroyer. Lots of machines in there. Pics to follow.

1) Injectidry - hooked to 4x6 mat sucking moisture out of the gaps in the hardwoods
2) Air mover with lay-flat poly tube (aimed into kitchen sink cabinet)
3) Hot air blower attached to mini tubes blowing positive into cabinet floor cavity
4) Air mover blowing up onto subfloor in crawlspace
5) Dehumidifier (just slightly smaller than a smart car)
6) Air scrubber (cleaning the air and keeping us alive)

TrailerParadise 01-11-2013 12:03 PM

the subfloor may dry but that wood will not lay back down. We had something similar in our old house, the ice maker line on the fridge popped off in the middle of the night and flooded the kitchen, the flooring swelled and buckled, it was like walking on the rapids. We took out a bit of the flooring, hoping the swelled portion would lay down and fill the gap, but eight months later it still had not laid down. We had to replace it with laminate.

Awoodfloorguy 01-11-2013 04:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vestaviascott (Post 1086545)
My kitchen is like the engine room of a Navy destroyer. Lots of machines in there. Pics to follow.

1) Injectidry - hooked to 4x6 mat sucking moisture out of the gaps in the hardwoods
2) Air mover with lay-flat poly tube (aimed into kitchen sink cabinet)
3) Hot air blower attached to mini tubes blowing positive into cabinet floor cavity
4) Air mover blowing up onto subfloor in crawlspace
5) Dehumidifier (just slightly smaller than a smart car)
6) Air scrubber (cleaning the air and keeping us alive)

Hoping this works out for you. From the sounds of it you definitely have a good shot at salvaging your floors.

747 01-12-2013 04:16 AM

Good luck. They could buckle/cup after drying


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